Afghan Truckers Decry Extortion, Harassment By Iranians

(MENAFN- Pajhwok Afghan News)

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok) Afghan truck drivers say they are no longer extorted inside Afghanistan, but Iranian security forces continue to take money from them illegally under different pretexts.

The drivers, who carry transit goods between Afghanistan and Iran complain Iranian security forces harass and extort them.

They say when they cross the border into Iran, border security forces of the neighboring country force them to pay extra money.

They told Pajhwok Afghan News extortion on this side of the border has reached zero, but the illegal practice continues on the Iranian land.

Alauddin, one of the drivers, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Afghan drivers usually kept legal documents with them, but still Iranian security forces stopped them and took money from then under different pretexts.

Sayed Ahmad, another driver, corroborated Alauddin's claim, saying they were charged extra money at the Iranian Customs.

He asked officials of Afghanistan to address this issue through diplomatic channels.

MaulaviHakimullahOmari, deputy director of Herat Customs office, said, they would share and solve the problem of Afghan drivers with Iranians through talks.

Omari said“After the Islamic Emirate returned to power, corruption has zeroed and no one has so far complained about corruption during the previous years against the Herat customs office.

Customs revenue this year surged by 30 percent compared to the previous year, Omari said.

“We have so far collected 8.121 billion afs revenue during the first 11 months of this year, while the revenue of the similar period last year was 5 billion afs,” he added.

Omar Khitab, the director of Weighbridge of the provincial Customs Office, said corruption at the scale had reached zero.

Overloaded trucks are returned back every day by their office, Khitab said.

The drives are bound to load their trucks according to the regulation of the Ministry of Finance (MoF), or they will not be allowed to proceed, he added.

Torghundi and Islam Qala ports are main economic channels of the western zone of the country.

According to official figures of the Herat Customs office, 6,844 trucks carrying commercial goods arrived in the country from Iran during the past one month, generating 789 million afs revenue for Afghanistan.



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